- Books, Literature, and Writing
Top 10 Dystopian Love Stories
Dystopian Novels with a Love Story
It's a dark, scary world out there- at least, that's what these books would have you believe. Dystopian books generally show the world as a haunting, dreary place. Their version of reality is really quite pessimistic.
Yet, the following books have a beautiful element of love that overcomes their murky setting. Whether it's the love between a father and his son, a friendship formed between strangers, or the ongoing friendship transcending their circumstances, these books show that strong relationships can overcome the bleakest of environments.
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#10- The Host
by Stephanie Meyer
If you haven't read this book yet, now is the time. This book (written by Stephanie Meyer of the Twilight series), will also soon be released as a major motion picture.
This book is the only one on the list that includes an alien element. Parasitic aliens have taken over most of the human population, save a few. Melanie Stryder is one of those not yet possessed...but when she later is, she fights the host and refuses to allow it to take over her mind. She keeps remembering Jared, a man she is in love with, as well as her brother, Jamie. As she bombards the alien with memories of them, the alien forms an attachment to these figures just as she does.
Not Sure if The Host is For You? - Check out the movie trailer to see if it catches your eye...
#9- Super Sad True Love Story
by Gary Shteyngart
The scene is New York in what could be the near future. America has become a totalitarian government, and may soon collapse due to debts to China. Consumerism and materialism have taken over American values, and a Big Brother system rules. The main character, Leonard Abramov (a janitor), falls in love with a young woman, Eunice Park. They write back and forth through old-fashioned diary entries and online writings, and try to maintain love in spite of this haunting, startlingly real version of America.
This amazing novel has one numerous awards, including the Salon Book Award (2010), the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize, and was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.
#8- Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro
This book is told from the point of view of Kathy, a graduate of Hailsham, a special private boarding school. She tells of her memories of her friends and schoolmates, Ruth and Tommy. The three friends grow up under very strange circumstances, which Kathy relates to the reader in a calm, even-toned narrative.
What sets this book apart from others is that it is written in such a complex, teasing manner. Readers are forced to "read between the lines" and examine the pieces of truth as the author reveals them. It is the equivalent of a symphony, scavenger hunt, or jigsaw puzzle. When the book is over, the pieces are assembled and the reader can sit back and go, "Woah."
One of the most masterful parts of this book involves the complex relationships between Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy D. This book examines their complex relationship that develops in a haunting atmosphere.
#7- Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card
This fantastic book, like several on our list, takes place in America. The Earth has just defeated the Buggers, an invading alien race. In order to prevent future attacks, the International Fleet (IF) has set up a training school for brilliant children. Ender has been selected to attend, and leaves his family, bullying older brother Peter and sweet sister Valentine, in order to begin at Battle School.
After Ender and Valentine are separated, the book alternates chapters showing how their lives take separate paths. Even though they are thousands of miles away from each other, the strength of their relationship is shown again and again.
Ender, the most brilliant child to enter Battle School, is faced with larger and larger challenges. His clever abilities allow him to defeat them all. But as the games become more and more intense, will he crack under the pressure or beat the odds?
Read the book now, because the motion picture is currently out! Check out the trailer below.
Ender's Game - Finally made into a movie!
This movie was a long time coming, and it's finally been made!
#6- The Giver
by Lois Lowry
If you haven't read this young adult classic, you're missing out.
In this story, Lowry shows the importance of all human emotions. She creates a world where the vast majority of society is spared from feeling any emotions whatsoever. The community functions with bland day to day activities.
When the main character, Jonas, becomes an adult in their society, he is given the role of Receiver of Memories. It is then that he finds out what true life is all about.
The Giver won the 1994 Newbery Medal, and Is an excellent choice for children and adults alike.
The Giver - Coming to theatres August 2014!
I'm so excited to see this wildly popular novel adapted to a movie. Should be great!
#5- The Time Machine
Many dystopian novels get their inspiration from this classic story by H. G. Wells. Even though it was written in 1895, it is still a thrilling and fantastic story to read today.
This novel is credited with spreading the idea of "time travel," and it is an excellent source for many steampunk enthusiasts. The story presents the Time Traveller (unnamed) falling in love with a woman named Weena from thousands of years in the future (802,701 A.D., to be precise). Of course, to find out the complexities and outcome of their romance, you must read the novella.
#4- The Hunger Games Trilogy
These bestselling young-adult novels have taken the world by storm over the past couple years. In The Hunger Games, the main character, Katniss Everdeen, tries to stay alive as she is forced to participate in a twisted fight-to-the-death survival game against 23 other children. Throuhgout the story, Suzanne Collins interweaves a complex friendship between Katniss and Peeta, a fellow hunger games participant. This gruesome, heart-pounding novel shows the very best and worst of human instincts.
With the first novel already made into a major movie, and the second movie coming out in November, now is the perfect time to jump on the Hunger Games bandwagon if you haven't already.
Uncertain About The Hunger Games? - Check out the movie trailer to see if it's up your alley...
Already saw The Hunger Games? - Check out the Catching Fire Trailer!
This movie came out last November, and it's now available to rent or buy. Check it out now- the third of four movies is coming out next year!
#3: Ninteen Eighty-Four
by George Orwell
You can't mention the term "dystopia" without Ninteen Eighty-Four coming to mind. This is one of the most popular novels of all time, and definitely deserving of your time. This book shows the limits and power of the human spirit, while teaching a lesson about the importance of love to the human experience.
Ever heard of the phrase "Big Brother" in regards to government? You can thank Nineteen Eighty-Four for that.
Though the book is 65 years old this year, it remains a relevant and important landmark of dystopian literature. Celebrate it's birthday by checking it out!
by Ayn Rand
Anthem is one of Ayn Rand's shorter works, and is much more accessible and readable than some of her other books. This novella takes place in the future, and tells the story of two people who strive to be free individuals during strict oppression, and their journey together to find themselves.
Rand creates a world that has taken away any concept of individuality. Even using the word "I" is a crime worthy of death. This makes the novel a bit tricky at the start, as the main character uses plural pronouns (such as we and they) to refer to himself. However, once you get over that hurdle, this book is a page-turner that will keep your heart pounding and your brain thinking to the very end.
Ayn Rand is one of the greatest authors of any time period; if you haven't read her books before, this would be an excellent starting point.
#1- The Road
by Cormac McCarthy
McCarthy's about survival in a post-apocalyptic world demonstrates the unending love between father and son. The duo works to stay alive, battling other humans, the elements, and inner turmoil. In an America that has become a ruined landscape, they travel down a road towards the coast, though they don't know if their destination will prove any better than their current bleak situation.
This book is definitely a page-turner. I read it in one suspenseful sitting, and it's the type of book that stays with you long after you've finished the final sentence. Though I haven't seen the movie, I'm sure it doesn't do justice to McCarthy's telling.
This book was selected as a New York Times Notable Book, and it was also featured as a selection for Oprah's Book Club.